Aug 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

SCOTUS temporarily halts reinstatement of Trump's "Remain-in-Mexico" program

Picture of Associate Justice Samuel Alito
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

The Supreme Court late Friday temporarily blocked a federal judge's order that would have reinstated a Trump-era policy requiring immigrants seeking asylum at the southern border to wait in Mexico while their applications are pending.

Driving the news: Justice Samuel Alito issued the order after the Department of Justice asked the court to suspend the lower court's order. The suspension will expire Tuesday night.

  • A federal judge in Texas last week ordered that the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) policy be reinstated on Saturday, arguing the Biden administration "failed to consider several critical factors" before terminating the program.
  • The Biden administration appealed the decision to the 5th U.S. Circuit Appeal in New Orleans. However, the court did not grant a delay for the program's reinstatement, the Washington Post reports.

What they're saying: The administration argued in its brief to the Supreme Court that restarting the program "would prejudice the United States’ relations with vital regional partners, severely disrupt its operations at the southern border, and threaten to create a diplomatic and humanitarian crisis," per the Post.

Flashback: Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas officially halted the program in June, saying that MPP did not "adequately or sustainably enhance border management in such a way as to justify the program’s extensive operational burdens and other shortfalls."

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